What I learned this week from February 5, 2021

‘Learning is synthesizing seemingly divergent ideas and data.’ –Terry Heick

This week I learned about Clubhouse, Trapper Keepers, and what Jupiter would look like if it was at Moon distance from Earth.

I absolutely love being downtown

Snowman by Chicago Bean

I already knew very well that I love being downtown. But it was confirmed this week when I went downtown for the first time since the pandemic in March. I’ll write more about this, including my video of walking across the Picasso. For now I’ll say this much, being downtown was a complete breath of fresh air.

WordPress wasn’t written from scratch

The internet’s most popular content platform was based off the blogging software b2/cafelog—written by ONE person. Amazing. I have a blog draft in the works for mattmaldre.com.

Clubhouse—the newest social media platform

Clubhouse icon on iPhone

I tried Clubhouse, per the tip from thehotiron. First impression: Clubhouse is really more like talk radio. Very unfocused chatter.

Soundcloud doesn’t let you make lists of people

If you follow both music artists and podcasts, your feed gets kinda jumbled. I have a way to fix that—in an upcoming blog post on mattmaldre.com! TEASE!

Why Trapper Keepers aren’t made anymore

Trapper Keeper from 1980s

Trapper Keepers faded out, because they got banned by schools for being too physically big (and the velcro was too loud). Also, they took up too much space on store shelves.

Via a premium Medium article.

The story of the first podcast feed

The fascinating story of podcasting was created. (H/T The Hot Iron)

I knew Dave Winer created RSS; and I love his blog to this day. But I didn’t know he’s the one that added the audio enclosure ability in RSS. Makes sense, since he’s the one who made RSS in the first place.

Years ago when I was in my first few years at Tribune Company (circa 2001), one of my coworkers, Mike Fioritto introduced me to the work of Dave Winer. I was so fascinated by RSS and its ability to standardize the transmission of blogs (and XML’s ability to communicate so much more). I’m bragging a little bit here that I knew about this stuff right near the start. But all this… “making systems open, democratic, and easily accessible” yes yes yes!

Why Shia LaBeouf left Transformers

Shia from Transformers looking surprised

From cbr.com

LaBeouf has gone on the record to say that his issues with the films were “that they felt irrelevant. They felt dated as f*ck… You come up on these stories about Easy Rider and Raging Bull and De Niro and Scorsese and Hopper, and you find value in what they do. Meanwhile, you’re chasing energon crystals. It’s very hard to keep doing what you’re doing when you feel like it’s the antithesis of your purpose on this planet.” LaBeouf has always been forthcoming about his artistic views and the value acting has given his life in tumultuous times, and at that point, doing another installment in an action franchise was not something he was passionate about.

LOL. Shia is such a character. He’s done some wacky questionable things, but man, he sheds such brutally honest light here. Yeah, he was just chasing around energon crystals.

You really need to walk just 5,000 steps a day (not 10,000)

I used to wear a Fitbit, and watch my steps. But then it died out one month into the pandemic. Which was fine with me, because I didn’t need want to be reminded of how few steps I was walking.

Now recent research at University of Texas says you really just need 5,000 steps. I feel a little better.

G.I. Joe almost produced a Rocky Balboa action figure

Rock Balboa G.I. Joe action figure

As a kid in the 80s, I had The Fridge and Sgt. Slaughter figure. I probably would have gotten Rocky too, if he was available.

cbr.com covers the Rocky figure, along with 9 other unproduced G.I. Joe toys.

My college, Illinois Wesleyan University, now has their campus art collection online

Sadly, none of my works are officially in their collection.

A bitmap art website is being launched

Lospec bitmap art gallery website

via kickstarter (Funding ends Friday, February 12, 2021)

WP Engine is hosting a WordPress developer conference

I signed up for @WPEngine’s developer event #WPEDecode, March 4, 2021. Looking forward to the keynote, “5 things that have made me a better (WordPress) Developer” by co-founder of WordPress @mikelittlezed1

The music group Hedfunk had some famous DJ names

hedfunk CD album

One of my favorite CDs in college was Hedfunk’s self-titled album from 1995. This album popped up in my buried collection of mp3 files converted from CDs.

Back in 1995, we didn’t have all the wonders of the internet to research our favorite music groups, so 25 years later I google Hedfunk.

I learned Hedfunk was comprised of:

  • Jonathan More (ColdCut)
  • Matt Black (ColdCut)
  • Patrick “PC” Carpenter (DJ Food)

Wow! ColdCut and DJ Food together! No wonder why this album is so awesome. And sorry! The album is NOT on Spotify! Truly a buried legend.

DJ Food & Coldcut tracks

Here’s a new section about music discoveries for my “What I learned this week”. When I learn of new tracks, I’ll include them in my weekly roundup.

This week’s songs all have an acid jazz, trip-hop feel.

  1. Dark Lady by DJ Food
    This song totally brings me back to my college days in the Art Building during the 90s. I was pretty sure this is not recorded by DJ Food, so I looked it up online. Sure enough, this track was actually recorded by Hedfunk (of which DJ Food was a member).
  2. Living Beats by DJ Food
    I heard of DJ Food in college, but I can’t say I really knew any of his tracks. THANK YOU SPOTIFY IN 21ST CENTURY!
  3. Emergency on Planet Earth – London Rican Mix by Jamiroquai, Masters At Work.
    This is actually not a new song to me. Another great track from the 90s.
  4. Fight by Zoel, Avec Soul, Willy Crook.
    Fun slow reggae beat.
  5. True Skool by Coldcut, Roots Manuva
    A little more recent Coldcut from 2006, collaborating with African beats. (well, more recent than 1995).

All these songs can be heard in my “Discovered 2021” playlist on Spotify. I continuously add new tracks to this playlist for the entirety of 2021.

I found another member of my personal baseball Hall of Fame

John Montgomery Ward throwing a baseball

John Montgomery Ward (1878-1894). Yup, an oldie!

  • SB: 7 seasons in top 10
  • AB/SO: 7 seasons in top 10
  • DEF WAR: 4 seasons in top 10

He’s also in the real Hall of Fame—most likely for forming the first professional sports players union. But he’s got some really funky stats that I’d love to blog about sometime on 57hits.com.

Kyle Schwarber and Joc Pederson are stat twins

Comparison of Joc Pederson and Kyle Schwarber

Cubs dump fan-favorite Schwarber, then sign Pederson for a couple million less. The two players are practically identical. I compare their stats, legacy, and autographs on my baseball blog at 57hits.com.

Jupiter would be huge if it was moon distance from Earth

Jupiter on Earth's horizon

via Reddit. As you can guess, it would be HUMONGOUS. “That’s no moon.”

Imagine the tides from this.

Would Earth be a moon of Jupiter? The largest moon orbiting Jupiter is Ganymede, with a diamter of 5,268 km. That makes it 0.41 times that of Earth. Ok, so maybe Earth would not be a moon for Jupiter. We are over twice the size of Ganymede!

Is Ganymede unusual in moon size? Nope, there others close to its size.

1Ganymede, Jupiter5,262 kilometers
2Titan, Saturn5,150 kilometers
3Callisto, Jupiter4,821 kilometers
4Io, Jupiter3,643 kilometers
5Moon, Earth3,475 kilometers
6Europa, Jupiter3,122 kilometers
7Triton, Neptune2,707 kilometers
8Titania, Uranus1,578 kilometers
9Rhea, Saturn1,529 kilometers
10Oberon, Uranus1,523 kilometers

Earth would look really unusual at the top of this list.

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